From in the Shadow of the Sword
by Tom Holland
Attitudes to slavery enshrines Mecca
as pivot of cosmos. Wilderness on borders,
competition for proselytes, earthquake,
and the flood, pays little heed to the Prophet.
Ancient manuscripts and Rabbis in Palestine
bargain with Constantinople over heresy:
contextualising tradition of charity
as cockpit of global affairs.
Harbingers of end days
Arab desert spirits decrees compulsory baptism
of Jews and Samaritans, re-minting of coins
and mercenaries patrol frontier.